Recorded on the English Your Arsenal tour, the 16-track album Beethoven Was Deaf is an effective argument for Morrissey's capabilities as a live performer. Although none of the songs, which are all drawn from his solo career, are drastically different than their original studio incarnation, they are performed with skill by Morrissey's pseudo-rockabilly band, giving the singer ample opportunity to flaunt his charisma. But it's not just charisma -- Morrissey is a powerful, if unconventional vocalist, capable of squeezing out all the wit and exaggerated emotion from each song. While many of his great solo songs are here ("Suedehead," "Certain People I Know," "Sister I'm a Poet"), it relies a little too heavily on Your Arsenal to be a good career overview, yet it remains a fine souvenir for hardcore fans.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine